At Topical Questions within the Scottish Parliament today (4/12/18) Rhoda Grant, Highlands & Islands Regional MSP, asked the Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy, Fergus Ewing MSP, what action the Government was taking in response to Cairngorm Mountain Limited entering administration.
In his response the Cabinet Secretary advised that Cairngorm Mountain was open for business and that the HIE was the lead Agency who were working closely with the Administrators. He advised that the Government had lodged funds with the Administrator which would ensure the business remained open and staff were paid.
Rhoda Grant speaking this afternoon said ” I welcome the work that has been done so far by representatives from HIE and also the fact that the Government have lodged funding with the Administrator to ensure staff still get paid especially with Christmas just around the corner.This was my main concern. However, the Aviemore and Glenmore Community Trust and the Save the Ciste campaign have both been pushing for community ownership of Cairngorm to allow for new developments and expansion. The company’s collapse should open the door for a very serious discussion about how local people can take this forward, albeit the unknown quantity is the future of the funicular and the cost of repairs, so I urged the Cabinet Secretary to seriously look at and consider a Community buy out of this business.
” I was advised that HIE were in communications with the Administrator and local groups such as the Funicular Response Group, the local Community Council and other stakeholders and they would look at all options.
“As far as I am concerned we have to protect staff jobs and make sure we keep this excellent asset open over this key period of weeks and months when snow sport brings a massive boost to the local economy. If a Community Buy Out is deemed the best way forward, then I hope that this option will be seriously considered.